There I was. All alone in the torture chamber. Waiting and waiting. Maybe it’s not really a torture chamber? Maybe it’s a suffocation chamber. Whatever, me and my claustrophobic tendencies were about to go ballistic. Ruh Roh.
All I wanted to do was go home.
This is my new normal. My office moved from rolling hills and a meandering bayou, to a high security building in town. Quite a change after sixteen years in the country.
A most unwelcome change, in my opinion. No longer can I just walk out the door at five o’clock. I have to walk through a security checkpoint, and have my belongings scanned.
The end of my first day at the new building, I barreled out of my office at five, and came to an abrupt stop. There was a line to get through security.
Are you kidding me? It’s FIVE! And the time has changed! I have almost an hour commute (depending on traffic) and will barely get home before dark. I’m old. I don’t see good at night.
I waited as patiently as I could, got scanned, and put my stuff on the conveyer belt. YAY! I’m free to go through the first door.
Click, buzz, it unlocks. I enter the gas chamber. Sorry, holding room.
I wait. And I wait. And I wait. But there’s not another click/buzz to get me out the second door. I could scream, but I think it’s soundproof. I see one of my co-workers looking in and smiling.
Finally, the first door opens again, and a second wave of workers come in.
“Ellen, why didn’t you just enter the code to get out?”
There’s a CODE? No one ever said there was a code! No one told me all the processes and procedures to get out of the building. All I knew was that I had to go through security.
And, might I insert here, that AT NO TIME during the new employee orientation on security measures, did ANYONE mention you could get out the second door if you simply enter the code. Just sayin’.
It was hysterically funny. But not at the time. It was humbling. And embarrassing.
Change is humbling.
You are thrown into a totally different environment, a change so drastic that you can’t find your way around. Blindsided, if you will.
Somewhat like what happened to the apostle Paul on the road to Damascus. He’s still called Saul at this time, and he’s just a Christian-killing heathen. We see his story in Acts 9.
Paul was seething with rage against the disciples of Jesus, eager to kill them as he began his journey to Damascus. Suddenly, he was dazed by a blinding flash of light from heaven (Acts 9:3). Let’s look at the response of this fire-breathing, murderous ravager of the church:
“and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting…” Acts 9:4-5 NASB
Saul fell to the ground. Whether in shock or fear, I don’t know. But I guarantee, being on the ground and being talked to by someone you can hear, but cannot see, has to be humbling.
Saul then asks “Who are you, Lord?” The word Lord here is used deferentially, meaning the person addressed has authority over others. Some translations use “Master.” Hmmm, doesn’t sound so fierce now, does he?
Saul’s traveling companions had to lead him by the hand to Damascus. Struck blind, having to be guided by others, I imagine Saul’s ego deflated a bit, don’t you?
In the meantime, Jesus tells Ananias to find Saul and lay hands on him so he will get his sight back. But Ananias is like “Um, Lord, don’t you know how this man is killing Your people?”
Now, here’s the kicker:
“But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel…” Acts 9:15 NASB
This is the hope I have: that I will be a chosen instrument of Jesus in this season of change.
For whatever reason, He has put me here at this place, and at this time. I have NO IDEA why. None. Believe me, I’ve asked.
Perhaps one day He will share His plan with me.
In the mean time, I will yield to the changes He has put before me. I’ll try to do it humbly, even if I’m stuck in the torture chamber.
Grace be with you,